Dead Fantasizing

Ordinarily, the characters that I convert to Eclipse stats on this blog have no commonalities between them; that is, they’re not from the same series. That’s because I want to showcase a high amount of versatility in what’s here. The stark differences between the characters contrasts, in a way that I find very pleasing, with giving them all statistics under the same game rules. It’s the same principle that goes into crossovers – these characters shouldn’t be able to interact with each other, and yet now have the means to do so.

For this post, however, I’m bending my own rule.

The reason for that is because I’ve noticed that virtually all of the characters that I’ve posted here have had levels in the single digits. There have been one or two exceptions, to be sure, but for the most part they’ve all been low-level characters. The reason for this is because while many of the featured characters have come from series that are grandiose in scope, the amount of power they wield – when held up to the objective metric of the d20 System – simply doesn’t require that many levels to adequately portray.

Given that, this post is dedicated to showing off a character that is notably powerful, and as such requires levels well into the double digits to adequately portray. As I focused on the works of Monty Oum in my previous post, I was already thinking about his epic Dead Fantasy series – my favorite of his works, and one which I linked to in the aforementioned post – and realized that it was the perfect source for picking a character of exceptionally high level!

The Ultra-Violent Femmes

Of course, this wasn’t as easy as simply choosing a character at random and translating what they do in the series into game stats. All of the characters in Dead Fantasy are from established video game franchises; primarily Dead or Alive and Final Fantasy (hence the name). As such, a stat block for any of the characters in the series would need to also speak to their source material, ideally referencing any particular powers, abilities, or other noteworthy aspects from those games that weren’t otherwise shown (as of yet) in Dead Fantasy – particularly since Monty indicated that he felt that his series was, chronologically speaking, taking place after the source materials that he drew from.

This meant that, because I hadn’t played quite a few of the games that the cast was drawn from, I wouldn’t be able to make stats for them. I haven’t played the rebooted Ninja Gaiden games, for example (save for the one on the Nintendo DS), and that eliminated almost all of the Dead or Alive cast (since there’s a lot of additional game-play, and special powers, for Kasumi and Ayane in those, along with being the only places that Rachel and Momiji appear). Ditto that for the Kingdom Hearts series and Final Fantasy X and X-2.

Rinoa's signature move

Well, she doesn’t seem that frightening…

I had played Dead or Alive: Dimensions, which was basically an aggregate of the first four games in the series, so Hitomi was a possibility…but as the one character lacking any magic at all, she seemed like a poor choice. Since I didn’t want to use any of the male characters, as they don’t really fight in their brief appearances, that left only two choices: Tifa or Rinoa.

I had played both Final Fantasy VII and VIII (and seen the original and extended versions of Advent Children), so both were viable choices. Ultimately, I decided that Tifa’s character had slightly too much baggage, as statting her up would have required also creating stats for all of the materia she uses, which was a bit further afield than I wanted to go. Since I also wanted to stat up the most powerful character in the series, that made the final choice an easy one: Rinoa.

Mechanisms and Magic

The mythology of Final Fantasy VIII describes the origins of magic in that world in a few tales. While possessing contradictory elements (much like real-world mythologies), the story they tell can basically be summarized as thus:

When the world was very young, the god known as the Great Hyne fought many monsters in order to create a place for himself. Eventually establishing his own domain, he set about arranging it to his liking. However, tired from so many battles, he decided to create a servitor race, which would later come to be known as humans. Instructing them on what he wanted done, the Great Hyne entered a long sleep.

The humans, quickly completing their original instructions, were left idle and uncertain when their god did not then wake to guide them further. Eventually, they began to make more changes to the land at their own whims, creating societies of their own and multiplying. When the Great Hyne eventually awoke, he was outraged that his creations had themselves become creators, daring to infringe upon what he felt was his exclusive right to decide how things should be.

The Great Hyne set about punishing his wayward minions, starting by destroying the smaller replicas of themselves that they had created. The humans, horrified that their awakened god had started slaughtering their children, took up arms against him. While lacking the Great Hyne’s power, they had their own means of fighting, creating tools and continuing to reproduce at a rapid rate.

Eventually, realizing that he was losing the war against the humans, the Great Hyne agreed to cease hostilities and leave the humans in peace. Moreover, he gave them half of his body in recompense. However, when the humans went to claim their prize, they found that the half of the Great Hyne’s body they’d been given – and the power it contained – could not be controlled. Instead, it vanished into the bodies of certain women, who could then use mystic abilities due to that power now residing within them.

And the Great Hyne vanished, never to be seen again.

Ostensibly, the women who have this power – called Sorceresses (or Witches) in the game, but which I’ll refer to as Hyne Witches here to avoid confusion with the character classes, or other themes, of the same name – are the only ones in that world who can use magic. The actuality of it is something else again.

For one thing, monsters are still around, and many if not most of them have magical powers. There are also powerful creatures, officially classified as “energy beings” (which sounds like another name for spirits) called Guardian Forces, that can use powerful mystical abilities. Even humans can use magic when performing a “limit break” (which is maddeningly undefined within the context of the setting, like many dissociated mechanics found within the game).

Far more notable is the “para-magic” that people have invented prior to the start of the game. This system is said to be mechanical – though how it works, what it runs on, and how people can access it seemingly without any sort of interface beyond a thought are all left unexplained – and allows people to utilize magic in a manner akin to a Hyne Witch. It does this via the “draw” and “junction” systems.

“Drawing” magic allows the user to take magic (which, in a very Vancian manner, treats each individual “unit” of magic as a single casting of a specific spell) from monsters, though most monsters only have a few spells, and only in limited quantities. Interestingly, magic can also be drawn from specific areas of the world. (Bizarrely, magic can also be “crafted” by refining castings of spells from material items; another part of the game that’s given no real context about what’s happening from the characters’ point of view.)

By contrast, “junctioning” allows characters to take a specific spell (in all quantities currently held) and fuse them with the user. This allows the user to be empowered by them without needing to cast them – indeed, casting them lessens the amount that you have junctioned to you, weakening the overall benefit. Multiple spells can be junctioned simultaneously this way, each to a different part of the body (or rather, each to a different statistic, something The Spoony One talks more about).

Moreover, the Guardian Force creatures could also be junctioned with, albeit only one at a time, lending their immense power to a person (and even allowing them to be summoned to fight for you), though this caused gradual long-term memory loss, as they occupied the area of the brain responsible for that function.

While lacking in contextualization in several regards, para-magic is nevertheless fairly easy to model in Eclipse.

Because the system uses, as mentioned above, the Vancian idea that each unit of magic is a single casting of a single spell, we can thus model it with a traditional spellcasting progression. Since the spell list is notably small, having only fifty spells in total, but the spells in question do have considerable power, we’ll use the cheapest full progression list: clerical, without the package deal (technically, the wilder progression is cheaper, but is too limited in the number of powers gained).

Further, we’ll change around the limitations used for this particular progression. Since the spells on this list do almost nothing besides dealing damage, avoiding damage, and recovering from damage, this progression has the Restrained limitation. Likewise, because the spells need to be individually located and learned, they have the Studies limitation. Also, since this does not come from a higher power, this is treated as arcane, rather than divine, spellcasting.

Finally, the entire progression is specialized for one-half cost: spells can only be restored by finding a monster, or location, with the spell in question, and drawing it out of them as a standard action (no AoO) – each such drawing granting one casting of the spell in question.

Junctioning magic is more complicated. Presumably it would be used by having other abilities be specialized for one-half cost: they only function so long as at least one instance of a specific spell is still prepared. That doesn’t take into account the idea that multiple instances of a spell affect the overall power of the junction, but it comes close.

The Guardian Forces are specific creatures, individually designed. However, all have Blessing with the ability to bestow a particular summon monster spell, specific to them, using the channeling variant outlined in The Practical Enchanter. This ability would also be corrupted: causes gradual loss of long-term memories.

All of this functions largely as background material, since by the time she appears in Dead Fantasy, Rinoa has moved beyond many of the above limitations on magic. This is good, since the mechanical apparatus that allows for the function of para-magic likely doesn’t reach to the Dead or Alive/Ninja Gaiden series’ Earth, which is where Dead Fantasy seems to take place. (This also explains why Rinoa is not using any of the Guardian Forces – without the ability to junction them there, they simply can’t be utilized.)

Rinoa's threat

…huh, that is a bit more intimidating…

One thing that must be addressed, however, is that Rinoa is a Hyne Witch, having some of the Great Hyne’s power within her as a result of the events of Final Fantasy VIII. As with para-magic, the nature of exactly what powers a Hyne Witch has are irritatingly undefined; the status serves largely as a mcguffin throughout the game, besides granting the ability to use magic without mechanical assistance. One thing that is known is that that power will eventually physically (and, it’s implied, mentally) warp a Hyne Witch over time, unless she finds a knight who dedicates himself to her…somehow, this arrests any damaging mutations.

What’s more concrete is how the power is passed on – a Hyne Witch that is killed, or brought very close to death, will instantly and involuntarily transfer her power to the nearest “eligible” woman (what constitutes eligibility is, as you likely guessed, never elucidated). In addition to being passed on like the Quickening from Highlander, this power can also be consolidated. The last boss of Final Fantasy VIII, Ultimecia, is from the far future, where it is implied that she has absorbed all of the power that the Great Hyne gave humanity.

Given all of that, and that Rinoa doesn’t seem to use very much of this power when she receives it, we can presume that the following template is reasonably accurate:

Hyne Witch Template (32 CP/+1 ECL)

  • Improved Self-Development/+2 to one mental ability score (one-half cost due to use in a template; 12 CP).
  • +2 caster levels, specialized for one-half cost/only for a specified progression, which then cannot be changed (6 CP).
  • 4d4 generic spell levels, corrupted for two-thirds cost/no form of natural magic (8 CP).
  • Any two metamagic theorems (12 CP).
  • Streamline (6 CP).
  • 4 CP for new spells.

The entire template is corrupted for two-thirds cost/the Hyne Witch suffers Wisdom loss over time, as well as physical mutation, unless she can find a Knight who dedicates himself to her. All instances of this template are lost if the Hyne Witch is brought to 0 hit points or below, passing to the nearest woman with certain unknown qualities (e.g. at the GM’s discretion).

Of course, this template can be stacked onto itself multiple times, which explains how some Hyne Witches can become beings of legendary power. As a rough guess, Ultimecia likely had ten instances of this template (which explains how she can be a force strong enough to conquer the world, and even threaten the entire universe, while still being weak enough to be defeated by a party of six characters whose levels were in the early teens – too much magical power, and not enough hit points, AC, et al).

Rinoa has taken this template twice; having received this power once from Edea, and a second time from Adel. Her spellcasting ability score is Charisma, and her metamagic theorems gained from this are Amplify, Area, Easy, and Extension.

With that laid out, let’s take a look at the stat block for Rinoa herself, as she appears in Dead Fantasy.

Rinoa Heartilly, 15th-level Sorceress Hyne Witch (ECL 17)

Available Character Points: 384 (level 15 base) + 48 (levels 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15 feats) + 10 (disadvantages) + 6 (human bonus feat) + 6 (“starting traits”) = 454 CP.

Rinoa’s disadvantages are History (Her relationship with the Forest Owls freedom fighters/terrorist group), Hunted (by Ultimecia’s forces for her power as a Hyne Witch), and Valuable (as the daughter of a high-ranking military general, as well as due to her nature as a Hyne Witch).

All of these disadvantages were bought off (at a cost of 0 CP each) as part of the “epic quest” that was Final Fantasy VIII.

Ability Scores (25-point buy): Str 18, Dex 22, Con 20, Int 20, Wis 20, Cha 26.

 

Strength

Dexterity

Constitution

Intelligence

Wisdom

Charisma

Base scores (25 point-buy)

12

14

14

13

14

14

Racial bonus

+2

Level bonus

+2

+1

Template bonus

+4

Enhancement bonus

+6

+6

+6

+6

+6

+6

Total

18 (+4)

22 (+6)

20 (+5)

20 (+5)

20 (+5)

26 (+8)

Human Traits

  • Bonus feat (6 CP).
  • Fast Learner, specialized in skills (3 CP).
  • Humans get to pick which attribute enjoys the Pathfinder Package Deal bonus – buying off a Corruption worth (4 CP).

As always, this last bullet point is in reference to the Pathfinder Package Deal.

Basic Abilities (145 CP)

  • Proficient with light, medium, and heavy armor (15 CP) with the Fast (6 CP) modifier. Proficient with all simple weapons (3 CP) and the “Rinoa’s weapon’s” set (gunblade and blaster edge) (3 CP).
  • 1d20 Hit Die at 1st level (16 CP) and 14d4 Hit Dice thereafter (0 CP).
  • +11 Warcraft, specialized for one-half cost/only for attack rolls made with spells and her gunblade and blaster edge (33 CP).
  • Fort +9, Ref +9, Will +5 (69 CP).
  • 0 skill points (0 CP).

Rinoa’s “set” of weapons uses the same tautological reasoning laid down in the previous article: they’re a set because she uses them, and she uses them because they’re a set.

Beyond Para-Magic Lies True Sorcery (118 CP)

  • Fast Learner, specialized for double effect/only for purchasing levels of cleric magic progression (6 CP).
  • 17 levels of cleric (no package deal) progression (55 CP; bought at 85 CP with a 30 CP reduction from Fast Learner, above).
  • 13 caster levels, specialized for one-half cost/cleric progression only (39 CP).
  • Spell Flow (6 CP).
  • Spell Pool (6 CP).
  • Fast metamagic modifier (6 CP).

As the title for this suite of abilities suggests, Rinoa has (likely by virtue of being a Hyne Witch) abandoned the use of para-magic in favor of utilizing real magic. In practical terms, this means that she has bought off the specialization for her levels of cleric progression (eliminating the need to “draw” to replenish her magic), and is using the Studies limitation to function as a spontaneous spellcaster, rather than a preparatory one. Further, she is using Spell Flow and Spell Pool to enhance her flexibility with regards to what spells she knows and can cast.

Burden of the Sorceress Power (30 CP)

  • Celerity (6 CP) with an additional movement mode (flight) (12 CP) and an additional 30 ft. of movement (9 CP).
  • Shapeshift with the Variants option, specialized and corrupted for one-third cost/only to be able to make her wings appear and disappear at will (3 CP).

Since Rinoa has a knight – Squall – her mutation due to being a Hyne Witch has been arrested. As such, what changes she has undergone are largely under her control, much to her benefit, as it has granted her flight.

Wishing Star (55 CP).

  • Rapid Strike with the Improved and Superior modifiers, specialized for one-half cost/must spend an action point to use (18 CP).
  • Two Bonus Attacks/gunblade, specialized for one-half cost/may only be used with Rapid Strike (6 CP).
  • Reflex Training/may take a move action during a use of Rapid Strike (6 CP).
  • Split Movement/attacking, specialized for one-half cost/may only be used with Rapid Strike (3 CP).
  • Augment Attack/+3d6+1 damage, only with Rapid Strike (10 CP).
  • Enhanced Strike/Whirlwind, specialized for increased effect/may only be used with Rapid Strike, may be used for iterative attacks (6 CP).
  • Evasive/when moving through threatened areas, specialized for one-half cost/only when using Rapid Strike (6 CP).

Fans of Final Fantasy VIII will recognize this as Rinoa’s strongest limit break, and also as the move she uses inside the tornado near the end of the second episode of Dead Fantasy to decimate her opponents. This set of abilities basically allows her to take eight attacks at once – +20/+18/+16/+14/+12/+10/+8/+6 – as a full round action, during which time she can use up to a full move in increments between each attack, provokes no attacks of opportunity for moving through threatened areas, may strike each opponent in range with each attack roll, and deals an additional +3d6+1 damage on each successful hit.

This is fairly over-powered, and is only kept under control by costing an action point each time it’s used (hence why limit breaks aren’t used every single round). Further, the specialization on Enhanced Strike is ridiculously strong, to the point where I’d recommend that it not be allowed in most games.

Rinoa has apparently stopped relying on using her dog, Angelo, as a weapon in her limit breaks, having adapted Wishing Star to being one she can use herself and retrained the others away. This is just as well, as those attacks seemed quite burdensome on poor Angelo.

Cinematic Soldier (69 CP)

  • Immunity to penalties from armor (very common/minor/major) (12 CP).
  • Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, specialized for one-half cost/only for saving throws (6 CP).
  • Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, specialized for one-half cost/only for attack rolls (6 CP).
  • Action Hero/stunts with the 2-points-per-round modifier (12 CP).
  • Augmented Bonus with the Advanced and Improved modifiers/add Charisma bonus to hit points (18 CP).
  • Damage Reduction 5/universal (12 CP).
  • Increase racial Fast Learner from one-half cost to double effect (3 CP).

These are the various background abilities that don’t really have a corresponding analogue in the series. That makes them no less important; for example, the use of damage reduction is quite clearly in play, as the girls take an obscene amount of damage while continuing to fight – that a lot of that damage isn’t getting through makes the most sense.

Trained by Squall (15 CP)

  • Augment Attack/+1 to hit with gunblade (3 CP).
  • Block/melee (6 CP).
  • Block/ranged (6 CP).

Given that Rinoa never used a gunblade before her appearance in Dead Fantasy, it makes sense that her boyfriend had been teaching her how to fight with one.

Child of a Magical World (18 CP)

  • Siddhisyoga with the Efficient and Fey modifiers (18 CP).
    • Belt of physical perfection +6 (108,000 GP)
    • Headband of mental superiority +6 (108,000 GP)
    • Cloak of resistance +5 (18,750 GP)
    • Ring of protection +2 (6,000 GP)
    • Shield effect (3,000 GP)
    • +2 competence bonus to all skills (2,100 GP)
    • Immortal vigor (2,100 GP)

The bonuses gained via Siddhisyoga come from her 410,000 GP wealth-per-level, which is why the totals are noted parenthetically; more on this below. This also requires a sacrifice of 14,288 XP (rounded up), which is virtually nothing compared to the cost of gaining a level at the higher levels on the medium XP track.

Integrated Fighting Styles (4 CP)

  • Bonus Attack, corrupted for two-thirds cost/cannot use a shield when doing so (4 CP).

This is fairly straightforward, being the equivalent of Two-Weapon Fighting; with this, Rinoa can make off-hand attacks with her blaster edge when attacking with her gunblade.

Equipment

  • “Vanishing Star,” a +5 keen gunblade (73,100 GP).
  • “Silenced Tear,” a +5 blaster edge (50,800 GP).
  • +5 glamored full plate (37,650 GP).

The last bullet point requires some explanation. The fact that she’s wearing armor is a contrivance, but that it’s glamored explains why the characters in Final Fantasy VIII can change their armor without it changing their appearance. As Rinoa has taken an immunity to the penalties for wearing armor, this doesn’t inconvenience her in the slightest.

With regards to her weapons, use the following stats.

Gunblade; one-handed exotic weapon; 800 GP; damage (S) 1d6; damage (M) 1d8; critical 19-20/x3; weight 6 lbs.; type slashing.

This is the basic, and earliest, form of gunblade – later innovations would grant it the ability to actually fire projectiles. As it stands, the gun part of this gunblade creates an explosion that strengthens a particular swing, accounting for the higher critical damage than a normal sword.

Blaster edge; ranged exotic weapon; 500 GP; damage (S) 1d6; damage (M) 1d8; critical x2; range 30 ft.; weight 4 lbs.; type slashing; special returning.

The blaster edge is essentially a mechanism that launches a chakram. Since it’s not thrown, it doesn’t get Strength bonuses to damage, but can be launched out to ten full range increments rather than five. Further, it’s built in such a way as to automatically return to the launcher at the end of the wielder’s turn.

Derived Stats

  • Hit points: 20 (1st level) + 12 (immortal vigor; 1st level) + 35 (14d4) + 85 (Con bonus) + 136 (Cha bonus) = 288.
  • Speed: 30 feet; fly 60 feet (perfect).
  • Saving Throws:
    • Fort: +9 (base) +5 (Con) +5 (resistance) = +19.
    • Ref: +9 (base) +6 (Dex) +5 (resistance) = +20.
    • Will: +5 (base) +5 (Wis) +5 (resistance) = +15.
  • Attacks:
    • Vanishing Star: +11 (BAB) +4 (Str) +1 (augment attack) +5 (weapon enhancement) +3 (martial arts) = +24/+19/+14 (1d12+9/17-20/x3).
    • Silenced Tear: +11 (BAB) +6 (Dex) +5 (weapon enhancement) = +22 (1d8+5).
  • Armor Class: 10 (base) +14 (armor) +6 (Dex) +4 (shield) +2 (deflection) = 36 (martial arts are not included here).
  • Skill Points: 0 (purchased) + 30 (human bonus) + 75 (Int bonus) + 15 (“favored class” bonus) = 120.

Ranks

Ability   Bonus

Class   Bonus

Competence   Bonus

Misc.

Total

Acrobatics

5

+6 Dex

+3

+2

+16

Bluff

5

+8 Cha

+2

+15

Diplomacy

10

+8 Cha

+3

+2

+23

Fly

10

+6 Dex

+3

+2

+8   maneuverability

+29

Handle Animal

10

+8 Cha

+3

+2

+23

Heal

5

+5 Wis

+2

+12

Knowledge (arcana)*

15

+5 Int

+2

+22

Knowledge (geography)

10

+5 Int

+3

+2

+20

Knowledge (history)

10

+5 Int

+3

+2

+20

Knowledge (local)

10

+5 Int

+3

+2

+20

Martial Arts (explosive   sword)

15

+4 Str

+3

+2

+24

Perception

10

+5 Wis

+3

+2

+20

Perform (dance)

5

+8 Cha

+3

+2

+18

Perform (sing)

5

+8 Cha

+3

+2

+18

Sense Motive

5

+5 Wis

+3

+2

+15

Spellcraft*

15

+5 Int

+2

+22

Swim

5

+4 Str

+2

+11

Use Magic Device*

15

+8 Cha

+2

+25

Rinoa’s class skills are the twelve in the above table that have a +3 class bonus, along with Craft and Profession (in which she hasn’t taken any ranks). The three skills marked with an asterisk are gained for free, as part of her headband of mental superiority +6.

Explosive Sword (Str)

Explosive sword is an esoteric martial art centered around the early forms of gunblades. An aggressive style, it emphasizes heavy strikes for large amounts of damage, bolstering the weapon’s use of its gun components to add greater power to its blows. While it has defensive teachings, these are secondary to its offensive focus.

  • Requires: Weapon Focus (gunblade) or equivalent point-buy.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 4, Defense 2, Power 2, Synergy (+2 to confirm critical hits).
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Blinding Strike, Combat Reflexes, Mighty Blow, Knockback (as Improved Bull Rush, but you do not move with your opponent).
  • Occult Techniques: Focused Blow, Inner Strength, Touch Strike, Vanishing.
  • Known: Attack 3, Defense 2, Power 2, Synergy (+2 to confirm critical hits), Combat Reflexes, Knockback, Inner Strength, Vanishing.

Critical Analysis

Rinoa has the least screen time of the ten female fighters in Dead Fantasy. Even with that, however, she’s still the strongest character shown to date. Given that the fighters are all roughly equal in terms of skill – and, in game terms, all being the same level, which in this case would be 15th, the same as Rinoa – it’s worth examining why that is.

Part of the equation is simply situational. When Rinoa entered the fray, her side had the other outnumbered five to four. That gave her some breathing room in terms of being able to cast spells. Of course, part of it is also that she’s side-stepping the issue of having equal levels with everyone else by having two levels’ worth of templates.

Rinoa's lunar cry

…okay, now I’m scared.

The major reason, however, is that Rinoa is the only full-progression spellcaster in the series. While characters like Tifa have a lot of magic that they can use, only Rinoa has taken enough spellcasting levels to be able to pour on high-level spell after high-level spell. That let her control the battlefield and throw devastating effects one after another at the opposition, completely overwhelming them (which makes it odd that she’d end the fight by splitting everyone off into one-on-one pairs, as that negated the fact that her side was currently winning the fight).

There’s a fourth reason, however, and it’s worth examining in more detail: Rinoa simply got to take advantage of the entirety of her gear value, as per her use of Siddhisyoga.

None of the characters in Dead Fantasy use very much gear. What equipment they do use is likely to be notably magical, but a single weapon or two can’t account for the entirety of a 15th-level character’s gear value. So then what becomes of the rest of the equipment that they should have?

The answer to this depends on where they’re from. For the Final Fantasy/Kingdom Hearts girls – who are from highly magical realms – they can probably sink a lot of their remaining wealth into personal enchantments via Siddhisyoga, as Rinoa has done. The Dead or Alive/Ninja Gaiden girls, on the other hand, are from Earth.

Now, while their Earth is still one that allows for some degree of mystical abilities (even Hitomi, who is ostensibly an ordinary human, is performing superhuman feats of strength in the series), it’s clearly not in the same class as those fantastic realms. Hence, there’s almost certainly a limit on how much can be spent on Siddhisyoga and Innate Enchantment – if not an outright prohibition.

That means that the Dead or Alive/Ninja Gaiden girls are working with something of a handicap. They’re clearly trying to work around this – and their stats would certainly reflect that – but it is there. In fact, you can see it in the series itself; every time the playing field is level, the DoA/NG girls are the ones losing the fight.

At the very beginning of the first episode, for instance, Kasumi and Ayane quickly overcome Yuna when she’s alone; a better usage of gear value isn’t enough to overcome the difference in the economy of actions. But once Rikku arrives, she and Yuna overcome their enemies – Kasumi and Ayane are getting thrashed right before Hitomi arrives.

Her arrival unbalances the odds, and eventually (it takes longer since outnumbering your enemies three-to-two only offers a 50% advantage, rather than the 100% advantage of two-to-one) the DoA girls are triumphant…until Tifa arrives. Now that the odds are balanced again, things swing back in the FF girls’ favor – they begin to soundly wallop their enemies. The DoA girls try to take them out with one large attack, but all that does is change the battlefield.

This alone doesn’t succeed in upsetting things. Once again, the team with more magic is able to punish the team that doesn’t, and the DoA girls are losing until Rachel joins them. At that point (and with Tifa hurting and out of magic), the FF girls begin losing again…until Rinoa and Kairi join them. Now with the advantage of numbers and greater magic, it’s less a battle than an inevitability, at least until Rinoa – for whatever reason – breaks them up into one-on-one pairs.

The third episode proves the rule by reversing the trend of who has more magic. Tifa controls her fight until Hitomi, in a desperate bid for victory, manages to disarm Tifa of her materia and take it for herself. Now that she’s the one with the magic, she turns the tables on Tifa, winning the fight. The fifth episode is simply bringing the curtain down on a foregone conclusion, although Tifa does struggle mightily to try and change it (to no avail).

The fourth episode once again showcases that having more magic matters less than having more numbers. Hideously outnumbered by the Kasumi Alpha clones, Yuna summons five Aeons to her side. Even with Kasumi turning her attention to the horde of clones (as she’s long since come to hate them), it’s of little use, as they overwhelm her Aeons and would have done the same to Yuna, had Cloud not intervened just before Kasumi teleported herself and the clones away (so that she could kill them without any distractions).

The sixth episode, by contrast, puts the issue of magic tipping an otherwise-even fight front and center. Faced with the mystical abilities that Namine brings to bear, Momiji is battling uphill the entire fight, and would have lost had Ryu not intervened at the end.

Overall, Rinoa’s overwhelming power is due to a number of factors that, taken together, make her first among equals in the cast of Dead Fantasy. Hopefully, more episodes will be released soon so that we can see if that continues to hold true throughout this incredible saga.

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3 Responses to “Dead Fantasizing”

  1. Eclipse and Mythic Ascension, Part II – A Progressive Interlude | Emergence Campaign Weblog Says:

    […] Dead Fantasizing (alzrius.wordpress.com) […]

  2. Eclipse – Sample Races, Templates, and Characters | Emergence Campaign Weblog Says:

    […] Rinoa, from Final Fantasy via Dead Fantasy, a powerful 15′th level spellcaster – along with the Hyne Witch template and a discussion of many of the other characters. […]

  3. Eclipse Builds by Alzrius | Emergence Campaign Weblog Says:

    […] Rinoa, from Final Fantasy via Dead Fantasy, a powerful 15′th level spellcaster – along with the Hyne Witch template and a discussion of many of the other characters. […]

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